Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Waterfall Wonderland

Princess Louisa, British Columbia, Canada

September 25-27, 2010

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Why “Waterfall Wonderland”? Well, it was! The up side of having some rain fall is that it makes for absolutely spectacular waterfalls. They were so numerous that we lost count and then the centerpiece of Princess Louisa Inlet, Chatterbox Falls was pretty amazing when we arrived. After Saturday night’s torrential rainfall all night long, the Falls were a once in a lifetime sight for us.

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We were very lucky to have our good friend, Rose, along with us for the trip up Jervis Inlet. She arrived late Friday night and did not complain at all when we left at 7:00am to time the slack tide at Malibu Rapids. The trip up was uneventful and we only saw a few minutes of bumpy water right where the locals had said we would at Egmont, the opening to the Skookumchuck Narrows and Sechelt Inlet. After that, it was smooth motoring. The trip through the Rapids was also, uneventful, thankfully.

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There were only two other sailboats at the dock when we arrived and they were very welcoming. Our first night brought the above mentioned torrential rains, but Sunday dawned misty and beautiful although, this time of year it takes until mid morning for the sun to peek over the tops of walls of the Inlet. Rose and I explored the Beyond Malibu site which is pretty well boarded up for the season. After lunch, Brad and I climbed the near vertical “trail” to the mythic trapper’s cabin. Convinced we had made a wrong turn, we stopped about a hundred yards from an impassable waterfall only to find out upon our equally grueling return that we were “there”.

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Monday, we had a relaxing morning before leaving for the early 9:00am slack tide at the Rapids. Just back into Jervis Inlet, we answered the call of a small powerboat that had been on the dock with us the night before and had apparently run out of fuel. We caught up with them after about an hour and towed them back to Pender Harbor (about 30 miles). They offered to take us out to dinner, but all the restaurants were closed because it was Monday!

While we were away from Garden Bay, the resident bear has continued to enjoy the apples that are on the ground at the neighbors’ house. The caretaker and another club member snapped some pictures of what we are supposed to be looking out for!


Re-Entry Update: We are chipping away at our re-entry tasks. We have bought a car. We have secured moorage and live-aboard status at Shilshole. We have laid the groundwork for our return to skiing after two years of not being on or near snow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cortes Rendez-vous

September 21, 2010

Cortes Bay, Desolation Sound, British Columbia, Canada


We arrived in Cortes Bay between the low cloud ceiling of the morning and the high winds that kicked up in the late afternoon.  The moorage in the bay is so protected that we didn’t even realized the wind was blowing til we went up to change over the laundry.  G-ma, Auntie Barbara and Susie arrived just as we were finishing our dinner.  Once they had unpacked and settled, we met up in the Cortes Room and chatted while the kids worked on puzzles.

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Crab Beach 

Any day that starts out with fresh cinnamon rolls can’t go badly and it held true for yesterday.  We took advantage of having the car and made a trip to the grocery and co-op.  Bryce wanted to take G-ma to the bookstore.  While we waited for it open, we headed down the road to visit Hollyhock and strolled through their beautiful gardens in the fabulous fall sunshine.  Bryce got to pick out a couple graphic novels for he and his brother.  I can hardly wait to get back to our fabulous library system – talk about things we have missed over the course of our year+ away from Seattle.  G-ma took all the ladies on a hike up to Red Granite Bluff (which is just above Lively Beach – article forthcoming in the Capaz Chronicle).  The recovery from her knee replacement surgery is impressive – she may ski a run or two this season yet!  Brad filleted our salmon and we had fabulous salmon and prawn feast for dinner.  G-ma and company even let me bored with our newly trimmed slideshow of pictures from the big adventure.

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We awoke bright and early for a trip to Prideux Haven for the day.  It turned out to be much closer than our distance calculations and we hit the pinch point right at low tide but still had plenty of water under the keel to spare.  I got Auntie Barbara out in the two man kayak for a nice little jaunt and chat.  Back on the boat, we had lunch in the cockpit while the sun played peek-a-boo behind big white fluffy clouds.  The boys went for an explore along the shore that had Brad and Austin going overland while Bryce piloted the dinghy around to meet them on the other side of a little peninsula.  Under beautiful sunny skies, we headed back to Cortes Bay.  Our early departure for Wednesday morning was confirmed by the “Securite” warning issued by the Canadian Coast Guard for impending nasty weather.  We returned early enough for the boys to fit in a quick trek up to Red Granite Bluff  before G-ma fixed up G-pa’s special scalloped potatoes for dinner.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Circumnavigating Quadra Island

September 18, 2010

Octopus Islands-Kanish Bay-Campbell River- Rebecca Spit-Carrington Bay

It took us awhile but after giving up on exploring the Broughton Islands, we finally figured out a plan:  we would circumnavigate Quadra Island.  Maybe someday, we will actually get to circumnavigating Vancouver Island.  We will have to save an adventure or two for another time.

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Our first stop was Kanish Bay which was the bay that we hiked to (Small Inlet) from the Octopus Islands.  The weather lifted a bit and we had a nice evening.  Brad and I even went for a little bit of exploring in the dinghy as the sunset turned to dusk.

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On through Seymour Narrows and its wild currents to Campbell River for a little provisioning.  We ended up in a small marina that is owned by a hotel and so had access to their hot tub before bed.  We also visited the Campbell River Maritime Museum which has a its centerpiece a 1958 salmon fishing boat that has been restored because for 17 years, its picture graced the back of the $5.00 bill.  We got Austin some long pants that fit so that his ankles won’t be so cold and a new warm jacket.  There was also a stop to obtain some local salmon fishing knowledge and gear at the outdoor store.  We even fit in a pretty extensive grocery run and stop at the Seattle Embassy.  All that in less than 24 hours.  I wonder if it was the dip in the hot tub or the level of activity that contributed more to everyone’s excellent night’s sleep.

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We trolled for about 3 hours on our way to Rebecca Spit: the only bites were little and had to go back to grow into big salmon.  The first night at anchor, we were the only boat in the hook of the spit and had the entire end of Drew Bay to ourselves.  The weather was great and the boys spent the whole afternoon on the beach making driftwood sailboats.  I took the kayak in search of ice cream, but came back with a brand of pierogies that we can’t get in the states anymore and some beets for borscht so that we could have a little Ukrainian feast for dinner.

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We trolled for a couple more hours on our way up to Carrington Bay on Cortes Island.  One good sized fish, but since we have to use barbless hooks here in Canada, it got away.  Brad had visited here years ago with his dad and some friends on “Heather” as an Explorer Scout.  He knew about the cool rapids between the bay and its lagoon.  Just before dinner, we zipped up to the head of the bay.  Even though the tide was already past high, the bay level was still a good foot above the lagoon level and so the water was pouring in through the rapids.  The boys (all three of them) raced logs through the rapids.

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On to Cortes Bay so that we can meet up with Auntie Barbara, G-ma and her friend.   Getting up early pays as we will be having salmon for dinner tomorrow!            

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Octopus Islands

September 14, 2010

Octopus Islands Provincial Marine Park, Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada

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Even though it rained (again) on our visit to the Octopus Islands, it was fantastic (we must be Washingtonians!!).  We just hunkered down our first evening and Austin beat us at all Scrabble with “JADE” for 60 points!!!

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The boys dove into their schoolwork the next morning as we all waited for some clearing.  Mid-morning, Brad and I took a little kayak tour that included going through a slot that is probably high and dry at low tide but had cool currents surging one way and then the other when we transited it.  In the afternoon, it dried off enough for a trip to visit the “Cruiser’s Cabin” and do a little reconnaissance for the next day’s hike.  There was a kayak group from Toronto camped on the beach where the trail begins and we chatted with them a bit before heading back to our nice, warm, cozy boat!

Clearing Fog – Waiatt Bay

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Hiking to Small Inlet and Newton Lake

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The next morning dawned still with fog here and there.  As it started to clear, we cut homework short and headed off for our hike.  We crossed a small isthmus from Waiatt Bay to Small Inlet and then continued up to Newton Lake.  We are all very excited to be back in our native evergreen forests (second growth or not).  In the afternoon, schoolwork was finished, naps were taken, islets were explored, and plans were made for our Cruiser’s Cabin artwork and the rest of our week.

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The priority for our final morning in the Octopus Islands was to complete and hang our new art in the Cruiser’s Cabin.  It was decided that we would add to our previous contribution from 2005 when we visited with the Voodoo Child and had part of the Toland family aboard.  Upon arrival, there was a kayak tour group having a fabulous picnic lunch on the newly rebuilt deck.  We hung our newest attempt at driftwood art (power tools are a definite plus).  Back at CAPAZ, we had a quick lunch before we needed to pull anchor and head for Osikollo Channel’s slack tide.

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